My son meets the minimum requirement to be forward facing and he's RF in my SUV but in my husband's car, nothing will fit rear facing and the only way he could pick him up from daycare on some days is if he's FF. We live in the city and it would only be 3 miles (5km) and in rush hour traffic, so no real risk of high speed impacts or being rear-ended.
The problem is the daycare is right next to my work but on days that I work from home I'd have to fight traffic to get to the daycare and then fight traffic to get back home, when my husband would go by the daycare on his way home anyway.
Is there anything that can go horribly wrong if he's FF?
I personally wouldn't. My DD is 25 months and I still wouldn't. Can you fit it RF if you put it in the center position in the back? Or if your husband is driving by himself, can you move the passenger seat up as far as it will go? And a good idea from eabbmom to switch cars on WFH days if that will work for you.
I was amazed at the force of having to brake really really hard at city speeds. It's easier on the driver cause you can anticipate when you hit the brake and brace yourself, not as easy for other adults but still doable since they understand what is happening, but a baby is taken completely by surprise. Combine that with their immature spines and it's a dangerous combo IMO.
If you really can't find another way or another seat that would work, at least put the FF seat in the center of the backseat, it's the safest position I believe.
It's a Mustang... so unfortunately no middle seat and literally no leg room in the back (the front seats touch the back seats. Biking wouldn't be an option because he comes from further out of the city but passes the daycare on the way home. It takes about 30-45 minutes to travel the distance between the daycare and the house so the average speed is literally about 6MPH lol ...and it's all city streets so most of it is just being caught between red lights.
I have considered riding my own bike but one way is entirely up hill and riding a bike here is pretty dangerous... bike couriers are really aggressive and will knock people over or shove them out of the way when they're speeding by.
I have a mustang and it's really hard to put any rear facing seat in it. You may have to push the passenger seat all the way forward. Our seat fits and it's a really big one. It can be done.
If you are on Facebook, "Car Seats for the Littles" is a great resource:
There is actually an album of photos called, "Car Seats in Ford Mustangs" that includes pictures of rear-facing car seats installed in Ford Mustangs. I would investigate a Diono Radian (which one depends on the size of your child: the R100 rear-faces to 40 pounds, the R120 to 45, the RXT to 45 and has headwings) and get the optional angle adjuster (it goes under the back of the carseat and makes it sit up straighter). Several people have reported no issues with having Diono Radians in the back of their Mustangs. There are a couple other options that *may* work, but none that will work as long.
I don't like to get all gory, but what can go wrong forward facing is pretty drastic. Because of a combination of their heads being so large compared to their bodies AND the fact that their spinal column is not done developing, children who are forward-faced earlier than they should are at risk of severe injury. Sometime between 3-6 years of age this no longer becomes as big of a concern, but children your son's age are up to 532% safer rear-facing than forward facing. In an accident that age of child can actually become internally decapitated which can result in permanent paralyzation or death. There are definitely options to keep him safe!
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